Originally published in August 2020. Updated in May 2022.
One of the best things about living in Tampa is getting to experience all of the incredible sunsets. As an avid sunset watcher myself, I know some of the best places to go to get the full, breathtaking experience you might be looking for! So for all you sunset fanatics, here is a list of some of the best local places to watch a Tampa Bay sunset (and we’ve included a few sunrise options, too!).
While Clearwater is known to be a notoriously busy beach, it is also known for its breathtaking sunsets. If you don’t want to stay on the physical beach you can go enjoy Pier 60, which is a massive boardwalk. Make the most of your visit by checking out Sunsets at Pier 60, a nightly sunset celebration with street performers. The celebration begins an hour before sunset and continues until an hour past sundown.
If you want to spend the day at the beach, check out the resort day pass available for the nearby Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa. Day passes include beach and pool access, a discount on bike rentals and more. The resort is located within walking distance of Pier 60.
More favorite beach spots for soaking up a sunset:
- Honeymoon Island State Park
- Anna Maria Island
- Madeira Beach
- Ben T. Davis Beach
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Located right downtown and framed by the University of Tampa, this popular downtown park is stretched out on about eight acres of land. Grab a blanket and have a picnic on the Great Lawn to watch the sun sink down behind the university. Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is also home to the monthly Rock the Park Tampa outdoor concert series. This free in-person live music event that’s perfect for a budget-friendly date night.
M. Bird Rooftop Bar
Thanks to its west-facing location and elevated rooftop digs, M. Bird is one of the most coveted downtown spots for soaking up sunset views with a cocktail in hand. Hitch a ride on the Pirate Water Taxi or stroll the Tampa Riverwalk to get there and grab dinner from one of the vendors inside of Heights Public Market before heading upstairs for your sunset toast.
PS: Check out these rooftop bars in Tampa for more sunset viewing with a drink in hand.
From the Water
There’s nothing quite like soaking up a Tampa Bay sunset right from the water. For the ultimate sunset date, book two seats on a local sunset tour. A few of our favorites are Get Up and Go Kayaking Tampa Bay’s Shell Key Sunset Tour, Tampa Bay Funboat’s sunset cruise (you can bring your own wine), and sunset dolphin watching with ParrotDise Express.
Davis Islands Beach
One of my personal favorite places to watch the sunset is Davis Islands Beach. Framed by anchored boats, this small beach has plenty of space to bring a couple of friends or to enjoy with your significant other. If you want to see it from another angle, sit on the rocks. Have a dog? Bring your pup along to splash and play at the dog beach.
Want to dine with spectacular sunset views? Located at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, Oystercatchers makes for a romantic date to dine and watch the sunset. This upscale restaurant features a dockside lounge, outdoor deck & seating, a private beach and an interior that is framed by large windows.
Located right on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, Whiskey Joe’s is a great place to grab a bite to eat and enjoy the sunset. The restaurant is structured on a peninsula which is surround on all three sides by the bay so you will have plenty of room to get that cute sunset pic for the gram!
Want to enjoy the sunset from the beach? Head to the private beach out front or stroll over to Ben T. Davis Beach nearby for scenic views.
Ballast Point Park
Located right at the end of Bayshore Blvd, Ballast Point Park is an ideal place to watch the sunrise. Soak in views of the downtown skyline and the rich colors reflecting off of the water in the bay. If you want to go for a longer walk, stop and walk on the boardwalk as well.
The Hurricane Rooftop Bar
Right in St. Pete in the historic Pass-A-Grille district lies the Hurricane Restaurant & Rooftop Bar. Walk up to the rooftop bar to get those 360 views of the beach and bay while the sun sinks down over the water.
Impress your date and toast to the sunset from the 11th floor of the Bellwether Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach at Level 11’s wraparound outdoor terrace. Perks include front row seats to watch the sun set over the Gulf, a robust drink menu and shareable apps. If you want to make it an overnight, this bar is less than a 5-minute walk from Postcard Inn On The Beach and TradeWinds Island Grand Resort.
- 360 Rooftop Lounge at The Hotel Zamora
Opal Sands Waterfront Sandbar
If you want to spend all day on the beach but grab a bite to eat while enjoying the sunset, then check out the Sandbar located at Opal Sands Resort in Clearwater. Situated right on the water, this massive hut covers the bar if you are looking for a cool and shady spot with sunset views.
Feature image credit: Get Up and Go Kayaking Tampa Bay